Limestone’s golf coach can play!
The last two tournaments Zach Siefert has played, he won, but there has been a few years between victories.
Siefert led from start to finish to claim the South Carolina Golf Association’s Mid-Am championship.
His last win was when he won the 2015 Greenville County Amateur championship at Holly Tree Country Club.
“I guess I am two for two,” joked Siefert. “It has been five years since I won Greenville, but that was the last individual tournament I played,” he said.
Siefert opened the 54 hole championship at the Florence Country Club carding a 3-under par 67. He finished the first round tied with Cally Bell from Bishopville.
“I had only played at Florence once before. The rough was up, but I was able to keep my ball out of trouble and in front of me,” he said.
In the second round the former Clemson college golfer was 1-over par to hold a narrow 1-shot lead over the defending champion.
Lexington’s Jordan Sease posted a 1-under par 69 for a 2-day total of 139 to move up to second.
Just 2-shots back, going into the final round, was first round co-leader Bell and Cody Clepper from Sumter. Clepper was a 2015 graduate of Limestone and was coached by Siefert.
“Cody was playing great. I told him how proud I was of him and then we battled each other for the win,” said the Limestone coach.
In the final round both Sease and Bell had early bogey trouble dropping them both out of contention.
Clepper played steady, but fell three shots behind his former coach after the 10th hole.
Seifert seemed in control of the championship until the 14th and 15th holes.
“I really messed things up on those two holes. My drive ends up in a divot on 14 and I 3-putted 15, from then on it was match play,” said Siefert.
Both golfers parred 16, but Clepper ran into trouble on 17 and had to put a double-bogey 6 on his card.
Siefert had a 2-shot lead playing the final hole.
“I didn’t have to make a birdie or an eagle so I hit two three irons and finished with a par,” he said.
Siefert shot an even par 70 for a 2-under par 208 total and the win.
“I didn’t have any expectations coming in to play. I did a lot of prep work to get ready and it was so much fun to be in the moment,” said Siefert.
Clepper finished second at even par for the championship. Aiken’s Brian Quackenbush was third at 214 while Greenville’s Jeremy Revis moved up to 4th in the final round.
When the fall college golf season was cancelled Siefert had some time on his hands. At the urging of his assistant coach, Cabe Waters, he decided to put a scorecard in his pocket again.
“I have not played much golf since I started coaching. I’ve devoted my time to coaching my team. I didn’t want to take any time away from them,” he said.
But with nothing to prepare for Siefert found his game again. He worked out off the course and practiced on the course.
Siefert and Waters teamed up to finish in a tie for 3rd at the SCGA Mid-Am Four-Ball.
He followed the good finish at Bulls Bay when he teamed up with Duane Barnes and tied for second in the Players Four-Ball at the Columbia Country Club.
“I really missed playing my own ball. I played good all week, I was in control of my game. It was so much fun. It had been a long time since I hit a golf shot that meant something,” he offered.
Siefert will put his coaching cap back on this week as limited practice begins for the Saint’s mens and women’s teams, but since he has some extra time he plans to play in a couple more four-ball tournaments.
“I’ve got the bug again. I enjoy coaching my team, but I may try to find some time too play a little more next summer,” concluded the new SCGA Mid-Am champion.
Tournament scores are available at:https://www.golfgenius.com/pages/2351678